Ever wondered why your electric stove takes unusually forever to bring water to a boil? Well, yeah, I hate to break it to you but you’re definitely not alone.

In this article, we tone down your frustrations and answer all your “whys” in regard to electric stoves and their lengthy cooking speed. Read through.

Electric stove takes forever to boil water

Electric stove takes forever to boil water. Here’s why

For you to clearly wrap your head around why it literally takes forever to boil water on your electric stove, you ought to first understand the working mechanism of an electric stove. 

How does an electric stove work?

Basically, heat is provided by a coil, ribbon, or strip of wire that is used as a heating element. 

An electric current passes through the element and converts it into heat, which radiates outwards in all directions. The heating element has a thermostat that controls its temperature.

When you turn on an electric stove, the element almost immediately begins heating up and reaches its maximum temperature within seconds.

Once it reaches this maximum temperature, however, it will take longer for all of its parts to warm up and for it to reach its final temperature distribution.

Why does it take forever to boil water on an electric stove?

There are a good number of reasons behind the stretched cooking times associated with electric stoves. 

Apart from the fact that the way electric stoves are designed inherently makes them slower, other factors such as heat capacity, power, energy transfer, and pan compatibility, also determine the cooking speed.

Unlike a gas stove’s relatively high heating capacity, most electric burners have much lower heating capabilities. Measured in watts, the fewer watts produced by cheaper electric stoves make it difficult to fairly compare electric stoves to their counterpart firecracker gas stoves.

Additionally, The coils on electric stoves can’t receive more power than designed to handle. They are designed to heat up fast, but can’t be adjusted. They are made with a certain amount of wattage and will work only at that speed. 

red electric coil

Your stove is also likely to take forever to boil water if your pan/pot of choice does not match the heating element’s dimension.  Pan/pot compatibility is essential. If the inside of the pot is rough, the water will definitely take forever to boil. 

A stainless-steel pot is a good choice. It ensures efficient heat conduction and rapid heating. However, for faster results, consider using a smooth interior pot with a spotless surface. 

By the same token, a stove top with an electric element also takes a long time to heat. This is because the heat on the very bottom gets sucked up by the pot/pan, unlike gas stoves where excess heat climbs to the sides of the pot, speeding up the process.

How long should it take to boil water on an electric stove?

On average, it should take you approximately 6 to 10 minutes to boil one liter of water on your electric stove. However, some factors such as the pot size and the water quantity may influence the approximated time.

electric cooktop

For instance, the larger the pot, the longer it will take your water to boil. The amount of water also affects how long it will take to boil on an electric stove. A litter of water will take far more time to boil than just a cup of the same. 

Other factors that may determine how long it should take to boil water on an electric stove include:

  • The pan/pot material (stainless steel pots conduct and radiate heat better than aluminum or cast-iron pots) 
  • The initial temperature of the water (lukewarm water boils faster than cold water)
  • The amount of insulation between your pot and its burner surface
  • Heating element wattage.

Which one boils water faster; a gas or an electric stove?

All variables considered a gas stove is more likely to boil your water faster than an electric stove.

How did we reach this conclusion?

Well, for one, a gas stove requires zero warming time as the heating process begins immediately. Unlike an electric stove that has an inductive heating coil that takes a bit to heat up. 

Furthermore, a gas model heats the bottom of the pot and allows heat to rise around its sides much faster than an electric element. Therefore, it will take longer for the electric stove to boil the same amount of water as it would if you were using gas.

boiling water on an electric stove

How to boil water on an electric stove quicker

Here are a few things you can do to speed up the boiling of water on your electric stove.

  • Use a lid to cover your pot. This traps in the heat  that in turn speeds up the boiling process.
  • Use the highest setting of your burner.
  • Use the right size of pan/pot.  A wider and shallower pot is the best choice. Its increased surface area lets the water heat up more quickly.
  • Preheat your pan before adding water to it.  Doing this makes the boiling time shorter and more efficient.
  • Use hot tap water.
  • Preheat your burner long before you plan to use it. Doing this gives you time to prepare as the burner heats up.
  • Make sure your stove is properly cleaned and maintained. A dirty electric stove will take longer to heat because the burners can’t get hot enough to cook food effectively.


Electric stoves are typically designed to operate a tad slower than their gas counterparts. Apart from buying an electric stove with higher wattage elements, there is no permanent solution to speed it up.

However, there are several ways to increase efficiency. For example, ensuring proper cleaning and maintenance. Clogged and blocked disrupt the heating process, slowing it down, hence longer cooking times.

Apart from these, you can take some of the steps we’ve mentioned above to speed the process of boiling water on your electric stove.